Age Is Just A Number For Dede Casad
University Park UMC member, 90, hosts conference aimed at creating senior ministries
Many churches focus on children and youth ministries, but Dede Casad saw a need to build a program for the senior members of her church. Casad is the creator and director of the Senior Life Ministry at University Park UMC.
In establishing this ministry, Casad saw members in her church who were retired and looked for ways to help them feel needed again.
“Just because you are retired doesn’t mean you are out of commission,” Casad said.
Casad, now 90 years old, created the program in 2016. Through trial and error, she found the right activities and times that work for her members. Each Thursday, she has a small group where speakers come in and share a topic. Each month has a topic series.
This past January, she coordinated a conference called “Equip,” which presented topics important to seniors and helped other churches start their own program. Each participant left the conference with tools such as video lessons and leader guides. The conference was well received – 75 people attended representing 61 churches across the South Central Jurisdiction and beyond – and Casad is planning another one for January 2020.
The last name Casad may sound familiar. Her son is Rev. Vic Casad, superintendent for the North Texas Conference’s East District. Her faithful witness greatly impacted him.
“My mother is a constant inspiration,” Rev. Casad said. “She not only is a perpetual source of new ideas, she makes sure most of them actually come to fruition.”
His mother is no stranger to hard work. In her younger years, she ran for a seat in the United States Congress, started a public relations firm, authored books and survived cancer twice. Not ready to retire, in her 80s, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas after completing two dissertations.
She runs her ministry with all volunteers including herself. She keeps track of who is retired or about to retire and then asks them to help. She said that usually people will travel or be active in the first few months of retirement and then look for something to do. That’s when she approaches them to see how they would be interested in helping.
“Everybody can do something, you just have to ask,” she said. In her opinion, everyone has creativity no matter what their age and can bring those gifts to the ministry.
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2019